Starting a New Project: Process

Someone asked me to explain my process for choosing fabrics for a new project, so I thought I’d document my process here. Maybe it will cement it in my own mind : )

This new project is an offshoot of the sketch that I drew for my quilt kit. I liked the way the drawing looked, and I started thinking about making the double wedding ring with a single pattern piece, instead of using the two inch blocks for the pattern. In talking it over with my friend, she suggested the idea of doing the kantha stitching in the pattern (I keep saying pattern because that piece is not an oval, and I don’t want to call it a football!)

Right now only about half of my stash is in the studio, and only about a tenth of it is readily visible. And yet, I found inspiration in those few pieces! I started out with these two pieces that I had bought recently. I do love the color and the patterns on these.


And then I started trying to find fabrics that would go with them. I was looking for a “color wash” effect. Nope, one’s too bright, and one’s too dark. That pale one might work, and for sure I like the gray/blue paisley.


My solid fabrics were in the house, so I tried those next. Nope, too solid. I wanted patterned fabric. But not TOO patterned : )


Trying more solids. Nope. Give it up. You’re going to have to take a trip out to the storage shed.


Oh, but before I go out there, I auditioned the contrast colors that I had spied in the studio–oh yeah, those are going to work great!


Trying out more mostly solids in that red/magenta/coral/orange color way. These pieces could be solid colors, because they would have the kantha stitching on them, and I don’t want too much pattern to distract from the stitching.


Alright, out to the storage shed, where I picked through my blue and red/orange/pink tubs to see what I could find.


I found quite a bit!


And then narrowed my choices down, and laid them out neatly so I could keep walking by and looking at them.


Sometimes I am stubborn, and leave in a fabric that I love, even though it seems to stick out (like that dark bright blue in the middle front.) Sometimes those fabrics surprise you, and they do work. But lots of times I am finally forced to eliminate them.

And that’s how I choose the fabrics for a project. Most of the time I do not use all the fabrics that I have chosen, and most of the time I need to go to my stash for another color or pattern. Many times this is the fabric that I need to make the quilt “pop.”

Choosing the fabrics is probably my favorite part of the process.


4 thoughts on “Starting a New Project: Process

  1. That little white flower/greenish background looks like some I have of the Gallery Fiori/Karen Tusinski. Interesting “pulls”!!! So much fun to keep walking by and arranging/rearranging!!!!!! Stay tuned, hmmmmmm?

    • Yep, I think that’s what it was. I was reading labels as I cut them out. I have a bigger print from that same collection that I LOVE! It might have made it into the quilt as well :))

      • I have many pieces from that line!! I fell in love with Karen’s orange poppies w/ that green/teal background when I first saw it several years ago. I met Karen last Oct. when DH and I were on the East Coast for a couple of weeks. A very neat gal and uber talented. She has her studio in Rockport, MA. I have all the fabric together,now, to make a quilt….finally…..when I find the time!!!!!!! LOL!

  2. Yes, I love the poppies too, and that is the fabric that I included in the quilt (that’s not pictured.) I saw the fabric in a tiny pic in a magazine and LOVED it, and then all the local stores were sold out of it. I found it more than a year later at a shop in Oregon. I think they said they had convinced the company to do a second printing of it! I bought a lot of it : )

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